WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN LEGION

America's Largest Veterans Service Organization

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Meetings are held Clubhouse #1
on the 4th Thursday of each month
- main lounge
24323 Calle Aragon
Laguna Woods, CA 92637

Doors open 4:45pm for socializing.
Dinner served 5:30pm followed by business meeting. Entertainment 7pm

Commander Vanda Bresnan:  949-581-6287
email: vanda@cox.net
 

 
Olivewood Elementary School Graduation 2017
Click here for photos
June 16, 2017 Post Commander Vanda Bresnan presented American Legion School Awards medals and certificates to outstanding students that prepared essays on the meaning of the American Flag. The winners read their essays along with other students. They were very well done.
Five other students were awarded President's Education Awards Program certificates signed by President Trump and Seceretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The students and parents were equally thrilled when the students received their arards and graduation diplomas. It was a pleasure to see such well behaved students and courteous parents and guests. It was a credit to the principal, Eva Neuer, and the the teachers for their outstanding work.
 
 
AMERICAN LEGION POST 257

The June 22nd meeting will be held in Clubhouse Two (please note the change in location – this meeting only) at 4:45PM for socializing with a sit-down dinner of Meat Loaf with Banana Creme Pie for dessert served at 5:30 PM.  Wine, beer and soft drinks are available.  We will be entertained by the Saddleback Doo Whoppers.   For reservations call Bill Price: 949-770-2256 by 6/20/17.  Veteran Hospital visits by Legionnaires are on the second Sunday of each month.  Call Vanda Brenan 949-581-6287.  For Legion Trips see Trip Notes in the Globe and call Wally Gramberg, 949-380-9626.  

 
SADDLEBACK DOO WOOPERS
 

In Seal Beach, bells toll to remember lost submarines and their crews on this Memorial Day
 

Wayne Yost, Dana Point VFW Post 9934 and Sam Higa American Legion Post 257 at Trader Joes in  Aliso Viejo

NATIONAL POPPY DAY

MAY 26, 2017

Legion Family flower of remembrance
The poppy flower adorned the battlefields of Flanders Field in France during World War I, and was looked upon by those serving as a living symbol of their fallen comrades’ sacrifices. In 1920 after World War I, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion Family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war, and distribution of poppies became a Legion national program in 1924. To this day, thanks in large part to the American Legion Auxiliary, the poppy is nationally recognized and worn as a symbol of sacrifice made by the men and women who served and died for their country during a time of war.
 

HOSPITAL CORPSMAN THIRD CLASS STUART FUKE

TO SERVE AS

GRAND MARSHAL OF LAGUNA HILLS

2017 MEMORIAL DAY HALF MARATHON RACE

 

Stuart Fuke served in the United States Navy from 2007 - 2012 as a Hospital Corpsman, deploying twice to Afghanistan - once with 3rdBattalion, 5thMarines. During his second deployment to Afghanistan he was hit by enemy gunfire, which resulted in his medical retirement. Stuart was awarded the Purple Heart following his wounds in action, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Valor (NAM with V). Stuart is most proud of the second award because it reflects what he did, not what was done to him. Sections of the award citing multiple events are quoted below:

 

“…Without regard for his own safety, he ran through an uncleared lane to the front of the

Platoon to care for the wounded Marine...” “...Without regard for his own safety, he exposed himself to enemy fire to care for the casualty, ultimately saving his life…” “Hospital Corpsman Third Class Stuart Fuke’s intiative, perseverance, and total dedication to duty reflected credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of  the United States Naval Service.”

 

Following his injuries, Stuart returned to San Diego where he underwent therapy for his injury. Though Stuart helped saved the lives of Marines, there were those he could not save, including one of his good friends who died in his arms, Corporal James Boelk.  “We called him Baloo, after the bear in Jungle Book, because he was always very positive and good company,” Stuart recalls.  Although they’d never met, James’ mother reached out to Stuart through letters and care packages when she heard he was struggling with despair. Through her care packages and letters, Stuart came to see and know strength in her that in turn gave him strength.  He determined that if a Gold Star mother could turn her broken heart to helping others, he could too. Today, Stuart smiles when he speaks of her, and with affection refers to her as “Momma Boelk”.  One of the marines whose life he was able to help save was Corporal Carlos Garcia (our 2014 Grand Marshal), whose children are now Stuart’s Godchildren.

 

Stuart completed his AA degree in Culinary Arts and is now working toward his BA in Hospitality, Food and Beverage.  One of his duties while deployed was to prepare meals for the unit, and he found out that “I liked it when I cooked a meal that the Marines loved. That made me happy.”  He credits his time in the service for learning what he enjoys.

 

Stuart agreed to serve as Grand Marshal of the 2017 Memorial Day Race because he wants to draw focus to the purpose and reason for Memorial Day.  “Its okay to have a barbecue, or fun with your friends,” he says, “but take time out to think about and remember who we are honoring.”  Stuart says.  “I live and enjoy life to honor my friend James.”

 

Please come run in honor of Stuart’s fallen friends, and remember to stop by our EXPO booth to meet and shake his hand.

 

Tony Teravainen, President and CEO, of Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) is presented a $1,000 donation from Post 257 Service Office/Quartermaster. STEP's mission is building financial self-sufficiency with our young military, veterans and their families through financial counseling, emergency grants and other support programs.

See https://www.stepsocal.org/ for more information about STEP.

 

2017 GIRLS STATE DELEGATES

In the photo from left to right: Pat Burr, Girls State Chairman; Varsha Nair, Trabuco Hills H. S.; Celine Wherritt, Laguna Hills H. S.; Kelly Dang, Mission Viejo H. S.; Vanda Bresnan, Post 257 Commander.

 

The meaning of a draped coffin 

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Meaning of  Flag 
Draped Coffin
All  Americans should be given this lesson.  Those who think that America is 
an arrogant nation should really reconsider that thought.  Our 
founding fathers used GOD's word and teachings to establish our 
Great Nation and I think it's high time Americans get re-educated 
about this Nation's history. 
 
Pass it along and be proud of the country we live in and even more proud of those who serve to 
protect  our 'GOD GIVEN' rights and freedoms. 
 

I  hope you take the time to read this ... To understand what the flag draped coffin 
really means ... Here is how to understand the flag that  laid upon it and is surrendered 
to so many widows and widowers.
Do you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun  salute stands for the sum of the 
numbers in the  year 1776?
 
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Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the 
United States of America Flag 13 times?  You  probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, 
but we learn something new every day!
 
The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.
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The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.
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The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a 
portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

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The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it 
is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine  guidance.

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The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, 'Our Country, 
in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still  our country, right or wrong.'

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The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie.  It is with their heart that they pledge 
allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America , and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation
under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they 
protect  their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.
 
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The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, 
that we might see the light of day.

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The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers.  For it has been through their 
faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women 
who have made this country great has been  molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons  and 
daughters for the defense of their country since they were first  born.
 
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The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King  David and King Solomon 
and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
 
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The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the  Christians eyes, 
God the Father, the Son  and Holy  Spirit.
The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding 
them of their nations motto, 'In God We Trust.'

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After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a 
cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, 
and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades 
and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy  today.
There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning. 
 

In the future, you'll see flags folded and now you will know why.
Share  this with the children you love and all others who love what is referred to, the 
symbol of ' Liberty and Freedom.'
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MAYBE  THE SUPREME COURT SHOULD READ THIS EXPLANATION BEFORE THEY RENDER THEIR  
DECISION ON THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.   
 
FORWARD  IT; MAYBE SOMEONE WITH THE NECESSARY POWER, OR POLITICAL AND FINANCIAL 
INFLUENCE, WILL GET IT TO THEM.
IN  THE MEANTIME, MAY GOD PROTECT US ALWAYS.
 
ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, WITH LIBERTY AND  JUSTICE FOR ALL.

 
Apply for an Honor Flight

Honor Flight Network recognizes American veterans for your sacrifices and achievements by flying you to Washington, D.C. to see YOUR memorial at no cost. Top priority is given to World War II and terminally ill veterans from all wars.

Honor Flight Network has expanded to include Korean War and Vietnam War veterans. In order for Honor Flight Network to achieve this goal, guardians fly with the veterans on every flight providing assistance and helping veterans have a safe, memorable and rewarding experience.

For what you and your comrades have given to us, please consider this a small token of appreciation from all of us at Honor Flight Network.

If you are a Veteran and would like to experience an Honor Flight at no cost to you, please complete the application at left.

If you know of someone who is a World War II veteran or a veteran with a terminal illness, please fill out an application and send it in on their behalf. And remember, every veteran flies free.

For More Information

For further information, please contact us at 937-521-2400 or via email atapplications@honorflight.org. Honor Flight San Diego website is http://www.honorflightsandiego.org/

 

 

Lou Tirado with SALUTE TO THOSE WHO SERVE award from the Anaheim Ducks. Base is a hockey puck and the plexiglass is from the stadium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANNUAL DONATION TO MARY FAY PENDLETON SCHOOL

Wednesday December 14, 2016 Post members Joe Rainey, Sam Higa and Mara Hodgkins visited Mary Fay Pendleton School to deliver $2,000 in gift cards to the teachers to buy additional supplies for the classrooms.
 
The school is for students from K-8 and includes four special needs classes. The teachers greatly appreciate the ability to purchase items that they not supplied. Many of the parents are currently depolyed for extended periods of time, some for a year or more. This is one of the most rewarding activities of the Post as we visit each classroom and get a brief view how they are being taught, they truly have a truly dedicated staff as evidenced by the students behavior and enthusiasm. 
Normally we split into two groups and have an opportunity to talk to the teachers and students and answer questions from the students. For more photos from previous visits click on the PHOTO GALLERY tab. If anyone would like to participate in the future please contact Jim Shaffer.
 
 
Doolittle Raiders-The Final Reunion
 
 
Tragic final chapter of a World War II romance
 
Click on the above link to read the article, Ron Kula is a member of American Legion Post 257
 
 

“Veteran Honor Ride”

Sunday, November 6, 2016, the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army and the American Legion Post 716 Family proudly presented the Second Annual Veterans Honor Ride (motorcycle rally), saluting our Nation’s Veterans. This year, the organizers changed the route of the ride to include passing the WW II Submarine Memorial. Ed Arnold contacted the Sea Cadets and 70 of them “Manned the Rail” outside the main gate and saluted the riders as they rode past. The Orange County Register and The Los Angeles Times graciously donated considerable space with lengthy articles and lots of photos. Many thanks for their publicity! The proceeds of the event benefiting the Military and Veterans Resource Center at the Joint Forces training Base, Los Alamitos. The center is the "go to" location for the delivery of benefits to our local military community. The center provides assistance to more than 1,500 Troops, Veterans, and their family members each month. Members of all branches of the service who enter the facility can get assistance including: emergency financial support, employment, education, finances, V A support, legal assistance, and healthcare. These services are available before, during, and after unit deployments. After 15 years of protracted fighting, our Veterans and their families are in need of our help - The Center is an essential provider of that support. 

Note: Post 257 has made donations supporting the Joint Forces Training Base.

 
 
VETERANS DAY CEREMONY AT THE MEMORIAL STONE
The Veterans Day ceremony was held at the Memorial Stone for the first time in many years. It was a beautiful warm morning for the guests that attended. Guest speakers included Village and city officials and our own Lou Tirado who talked about his flying with the Army Air Corp ias a belly gunner on a B17. Lou was shot down over Germany and spent time in a POW camp. Lou is still our Master at Arms and bugler. 
 
Click here to view more photos.
 
 
 
Veteran's Wheel Chair Drive 2016 was a great success.  Several of our American Legion members were able to obtain 9 brand new wheel chairs and one walker from the Knights of Columbus in Lake Forest on Saturday. Thanks to Joe Rainey, Mara Hodgkins, Vanda and Mike Bresman, Joann Kilian and Vince Howley. Two of the wheel chairs and 3 walkers have been given to Veterans since Saturday. If  you have a need call Vince Howley at 949-842-4069.
 
 
Letter from 2016 Boys State delegate from Laguna Hills High School

I genuinely want to thank you as well as The American Legion Post 257 for the wonderful opportunity to attend Boy’s State. Chandler and I both had several amazing experiences at our states capital, whether it was meeting our assemblyman or learning the ins and outs of our local, county and state government. While there I ran for the county level position of tax assessor. I took several speech classes in preparation for my campaign and had the opportunity to deliver my speech to over 250 people. This was a phenomenal experience for me due to the profound amount of skill that I obtained in order to make other speeches in the future. I was successfully elected as my county’s tax collector and assessor allowing me to work directly with our elected governor and be exposed to many new ideas and face even more learning opportunities. Aside from the food Chandler and I agree that Boy’s State had absolutely zero negative aspects and we are proud to vouch for the legitimacy of the program and what it can do for anyone who is interested in politics. The program had the perfect blend of camaraderie as well as actual work in order to ensure that every individual there had a good experience and was able to make lifelong friends. Many people that I met at Boy’s State will be my friends for years to come.

Again I appreciate the opportunity that you gave me by designating me as one of the representatives to attend Boys State. This has truly been a wonderful experience that I will remember for a lifetime.

Sincerely,

Grant Lowrie  

 
Robin Williams as the American Flag …
Williams was 31 when this video was made!
This clip made in ...1982, a different world …
 
 

Combat boots on display at OSU bring attention to veteran suicides

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

What is Mesothelioma? (click for information)

 

Post 257 Color Guard at 2016 Aquadettes Show

 
VIETNAMESE IMMIGRANT
 
It looks like we did some good after all! On Saturday, July 24th, 2010 the town of Prescott Valley, AZ, hosted a Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of coming to America and what it means. He spoke the following in dedication to all Vietnam Veterans. Thought you might enjoy hearing what he had to say: 35 years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I'd laugh at you. Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and my family in the greatest country on earth. I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I'd rather speak to you as an American. If you hadn't noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable with my people. I am a proud U.S. citizen and here is my proof. It took me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it, and I am very proud of it. I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six years old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could remember anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I can't even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers, 10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf. 35 years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war had ended. At the age of 13, I left with the under- standing that I may or may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the U.S. Somehow, my family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California. It was a miracle from God. If you haven't heard lately that this is the greatest country on earth, I am telling you that right now. It was the freedom and the opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you tonight. I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I cannot make it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong. I finished college. You see, all you have to do is to give this little boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it. Well, I took the opportunity and here I am. This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a socialist / communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a one-way ticket out of here. And if you didn't know, the only difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your head. That was my experience. In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time as an American. To this day, I can't remember anything sweeter and more patriotic than that moment in my life. Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college, and like any other goofball 21 year old kid, I was having a great time with my life. I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern California. In some way and some- how, I had forgotten how I got here and why I was here. One day I was at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the other side of the island. I don't know what made me do it, but I walked over and asked if he had served in Viet- nam. He smiled and said yes. I shook and held his hand. The grown man began to well up. I walked away as fast as I could and at that very moment, I was emotionally rocked. This was a profound moment in my life. I knew something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back. You see, America is not just a place on the map, it isn't just a physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an American, you must understand the concept, you must accept this concept, and most importantly, you have to fight and defend this concept. This is about Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I am standing up here. Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion, you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can't speak the language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages - last I looked on the Internet, there wasn't a Vietnamese translation of the U.S. Constitution. It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to converse and until this day, I still struggle to come up with the right words. It's not easy, but if it's too easy, it's not worth doing. Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000 Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000 names scribed on the black wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my heroes. You are my founders. At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I thank you for giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now ask all veterans, firefighters, and police officers, to please stand. On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your services and may God bless you all.
 
Quang Nguyen Creative Director/Founder Caddis Advertising, LLC "God Bless America " "One Flag, One Language, One Nation Under God"
For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible. --
Thanks to Paul Riggs for the article.
 
Jan / Feb 2016 Newsletter - click here  Commander's Corner - click here

 

Blind or losing your eye sight? Click here to read more

Since our charter in 1967, our American Legion Post has been welcoming veterans from all branches of our Armed Forces. Today we continue to welcome all military personnel serving our country. Joining our Post enables you to continue serving your God, County, and Community. Our mission is to implement the goals, aspirations, dreams, peace, and blessings for our country, friends, and families.
Help us to continue to support financially worthy community programs and projects.



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